A 2006 pic of Phish Tea that Bernard plans to pass off as a shot of soon to open Impala Cantina y Taqueria
In the eight year history of her blog, “Frozen Tropics” creator Elise Bernard has written thousands of stories about H Street Northeast and its environs. She has measured the pH content of bat-shit crazy neighbors as they rallied against everything from the inevitable Maryland Avenue Shell Gas Station to the price increase of tilapia tacos at the Argonaut Tavern. No shrinking violet, the Oklahoma native has been known to insert herself in spirited debates about which neighborhood blue grass outfit “most rocks the house.” She even once tried some kimchi at the formerly interesting Florida Avenue Market and then blogged her taste impressions.
“Holy, Kim Jong Un!” she writes. “Spicy, garlicky cabbage makes for one hot tamale, baby!”
About the only thing Ms. Bernard hasn’t attempted in recent years is adding a new photograph to the website—actually it’s been nearly a decade.
“I’m really busy these days,” Bernard explains. “I’m having some people over for Easter Sunday and it’s really a toss up between ham and lamb. Also, I am thinking of doing this really neat Easter egg hunt and awarding a couple of Canadian loonies as prizes. Being very ironic and all, takes time you know. Anyway, my time is spent thinking about that day and you know, just thinking in general.”
Bernard currently still uses the photo of the façade for Phish Tea, an H Street restaurant (that went out of business in 2006) when writing about Taylor Charles Steak and Ice, Toki Underground, Le Grenier, Boundary Road, and several hundred other subjects. “A little of the old White Out, a little bit of Photoshop, some serious squinting, and who can tell the difference?” she asks.
She employs a total of three generic “crowd shots” when looking to add the human touch to one of her pieces. “They are a very versatile three shots though. A well placed moustache on the photo, a funnily drawn pair of glasses, a sprinkling of cigarette ashes, and people tend to look totally different,” said Bernard.
Bernard adds, “I heard from my friend Robby that you can take a photograph on your phone now. I’m thinking of trying that out.”